Growing Lavender іn Pots the correct way
Lavender is definitely one of the most popular herbs, Lavender is essentially a shrub that grows only to about 60 centimeters. Due to size, and because its branches grow mostly upright with very little growing sideways, growing lavender in pots makes it perfect for container use.
The lavender plant, also known as Lavandula is an Old World native and can also be found in several other places like Africa’s tropical regions, the Mediterranean and , Asia and parts of India. It belongs to a type of plant that consists of thirty-nine species belonging to the mint family.
The stems of the lavender plant are woody and soft and usually, have rigid green shoots. Its leaves are oblong shaped and taper shooting directly along its base of the plant. Leaves are grayish green with flowers that come with a varied range of shades of lavender . Usually around mid summer to fall the flowers will appear and harvesting begins before the flowers open.
Many people interested in growing lavender known the importance in the cultivation of the plants. If the flowers open too soon they will lose all of their aroma.
Lavender is using not only for decorative plants in garden and landscape, but also for use as culinary herbs, and for extraction of the wonderful essential oil for many of us use.
If you are not growing lavender for profit, then it is definitely advisable to grow this wonderful plant in pots or some kind of containers.
Growing Lavender Plants
Lavender grows very well in containers or pots, but you need to make sure the needs are met in order for the plants to do well. You will need to consider the correct size of the container, watering, drainage is available, fertilizing, correct lighting, and when the prune. Growing Lavender in pots can be done starting from seeds or by cuttings.
Growing Lavender Frоm Seeds
Growing lavender from seeds can be a nice economical thought but you may find you will stumble before you find success. The quality seeds certainly aren’t always easy to find, and they usually don’t sprout well. Sprouted seedling are delicate and require extensive care for a minimum of two months before transplanting. If you want to undertake growing lavender from seeds make sure you plant in soil that drains well. Keep your seedlings in a warm dark area. You should see them sprout in approximately fifteen days but remember not to transplant them until they have developed an extremely strong root system.
Growing Lavender Frоm Cuttings
If you have a prior year’s healthy growth of lavender your cuttings will have the best chance in establishing themselves faster with a much better chance. Steps to remember when cutting
1. always use sharp shears and make nice clean cuts at a nice 45-degree angle.
2. Make your cuttings approximately three to five inches in length.
3. It is best when making a cut just below the nodule, due to a better rooting chance with the nodules.
4. Place the bottom in a rooting solution before sticking it in a soil preparation.
5. Use only sterilized soil that is weed free
6. Soil should be flattened by patting down, and lightly watering.
7. Place the cutting pot in a diffused lighting area.
8. Put plastic wrap over and around the pot, this will help increase the process of rooting.
9. When you see new sprouts make sure to uncover and find a location that is sunny.
Growing Lavender In a Container
The growth of your new lavender plant will be determined by the size of your container or pot. When your cutting is ready for its new container, planting should be easy. Make sure to clean your new pot well before planting. Your container must allow for adequate water drainage by containing holes for good drainage. Soil should be sterilized and weed free. Lavender can grow very well in gardens with loose and well-draining alkaline soil with a 6.0 – 7.0 ph range. Do not use soil that is rich and sticky. The potting soil should contain a sandy or rocky base for allowing water runoff. Broken pieces of tile, glass or gravel should be placed in the container bottom and covered with soil.
Lavender Plant Care
Lavender should only be watered when its soil is dry, watering infrequently will allow the soil to dry out and is okay.
Lavender plants do not need much for fertilization but if grown in containers they will need some due to the nutrients being washed out with drainage. You can fertilize bi-annually by using two tablespoons for organic compost. If you want to encourage growth then your plants should be pruned. In the lavender plants first year, don’t prune, but by the second year just pinch back a little of the main growth. By the third year shape the lavender plant by removing branches that are dead. Once flowering has stopped for the year it is a good idea to cut back the plant approximately by one-third of its size.
There are two main diseases that can affect lavender one being the Alfa Mosaic virus which can cause the leaves to turn yellow and misshaped, and then there is Lavender Shab disease causing black spots. If you find your plants have been infected with either one of these diseases it is best to pull up the plants and burn them. Both diseases will likely kill lavender.
Lavender should be harvested once the flowers change from a gray color to lavender or purple. Just cut the stems of the flowers in the morning after the evaporation of dew. You can use these wonderful flowers fresh or dry them, and also enjoy them as a culinary herb. Your plants should last between 5 to 10 years but then will start to fade away.